So, Coronavirus. A lot of focus is on what we are missing out on because of it. There is a lot of feeling that things are taken away. And, yes, true, it is easy to feel that way as event after event is cancelled. But we can also choose to tweak our expectations a bit, and have some fun at the same time. For instance, one of our kids was bummed because Bunny Bingo at a local church was cancelled (Bunny Bingo, for those not initiated, is regular bingo played before Easter. In our case, prizes are generally kid-friendly baskets, and the proceeds go towards the church’s Faith Formation. They hold a similar event, Turkey Bingo, before Thanksgiving, and the prizes are all meat related. But I digress…). It would not do to disappoint my child, so we decided to proceed with Bunny Bingo.
It was easy enough to create a bingo experience at home, and we do not even have a printer! If you happen to have a printer, you can print cards off at home (there are even sites that generate simple cards for younger children). Sites will even call the numbers – really, one can play bingo with very little thought, time or effort involved. But, again, we do not have a printer, so we had to generate everything pretty old-school.
The Bingo supplies are simple enough to make with things from home. Paper, pencil, markers and scissors were all I used. A ruler would have been nice, but I did not make the effort to search one out – the cover of my planner worked great.
I started with the Bingo numbers themselves. After making a grid of squares of approximate size (around 1″), I outlined the lines in black marker, then filled the squares with the Bingo numbers (B’s 1-15, I’s 16-30, N’s 31-45, G’s 46-60, O’s 61-75).
The numbers for each letter got their own color, in theory making it easier when calling them (it certainly helped when I was putting them all in order after the games to see which ones I had lost!). Cut them apart, fold them, put them in a jar and the numbers are done.
On to the cards themselves. Using a calendar as a guide, I marked off a 6 X 5 grid and outlined it in black. The black made the lines easy to trace on subsequent cards, so I only had to measure the grid once!
Label the top row with B-I-N-G-O and fill in the middle square with “free”. Have each person fill in their own numbers – in pencil, for ease of “trading” their Bingo card.
How long did this take to make? Honestly, I am not quite sure BECAUSE TIME HAS NO MEANING NOW. I would guess an hour; my husband probably has a better estimate of how long I was blissfully quiet and occupied. But the time was irrelevant – having so much “down time” allows me not to feel rushed. It was nice to have the time to focus on something so seemingly trivial, but would make my kids happy.
We did not play the games alone, either. Thanks to Zoom, the grandparents played with us. Prizes were given out, too! Simple things like $.25 – $5, the ability to choose a movie or Wii game, and a Johnny Pop. The grand prize for a coverall was an all-expenses paid trip to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios via YouTube. Because sometimes you can go all out without going out at all – speaking from experience.
On a side note, I made this while listening to the sweet sounds of our son wailing on patches of snow left in our yard with an aluminum baseball bat. He feels it is an important job to break them apart, in theory speeding up their rate of melting. Whatever works to keep you occupied and active, Buddy. Whatever works.